September 6, 2018
St. Mary of Nazareth Catholic Church
4600 Meredith Drive, Des Moines, Iowa 50310
The Cremation Society of Iowa
Judyth “Judy” J. Gaddie, 80, of Des Moines, passed away after a long illness on Thursday, August 30, at home.
Judy was born to Wynelle Blades and Gilbert Griffey on July 26, 1938, in a home in Indianola, Iowa. She grew up in Indianola and Davenport, graduating from Davenport Central High School in 1956. Shortly after graduation, Judy married Donald Wellendorf and three children were born of this union: Michael, Joseph and Mary. They divorced in 1978.
Judy found love again when she met Delbert Gaddie while both were employed with the City of Des Moines. They were married on January 10, 1981. Judy worked for the City of Des Moines for more than 20 years retiring in 2000 at the age of 62.
Judy was an avid Iowa Hawkeye fan. She and Delbert were longtime football season ticket holders and attended several bowl games over the years. They looked forward to their retirement and envisioned traveling and spending some of their hard-earned money to see the country and the world. Trips of note include Hawaii and England.
In retirement, Judy served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). This was a cause near and dear to her heart as she loved helping children. At one point she was recognized as CASA Volunteer of the Year.
As the years passed, Judy and Delbert traded in their Hawkeye football season tickets for season tickets to the Civic Center seeing shows including “Book of Mormon,” “LaCage aux Folles,” “Les Miserables” and “West Side Story.”
Judy was somewhat of a living contradiction. She fancied herself a rebel but was a strict rule follower. She liked a clean house but didn’t really like to do housework. She loved to eat, but hated to cook. However, she was an excellent cook. She was a devout Catholic, worshipping for years at St. Mary of Nazareth in Des Moines, yet her ability to forgive others and herself for past misdeeds didn’t come easily. Her politics and religion were at odds much of the time, but she managed to be both a staunch Democrat and a devout Catholic for most of her adult life.
She was an avid reader who read several books each week. She loved to shop, Younkers and Target were her favorite stores. She was a talented seamstress who made her daughter’s elaborate wedding dress.
A hard blow was dealt to Judy on September 2, 2017, when her first-born child, Michael, passed away after a short battle with Stage 4 brain cancer. Losing him broke her heart.
In June of 2014 Judy was diagnosed with Stage 1 lung cancer, which was cured with radiation. Unfortunately, it came back with a vengeance in the spring of 2018 as Stage 4 lung cancer, which had spread to her bones. She decided to try and fight this horrible disease, but sadly, a full recovery was not in the cards for her this time around.
Judy knew she was not long for this world, so she made sure to let all her loved ones know how much she cherished them. She never failed to tell them every day how much they meant to her. She was a strong, intelligent, confident woman who fiercely protected her family. She meant everything to her family, and they will forever love and miss her.
Judy is survived by her husband, Delbert Gaddie, of Des Moines; her children, Joseph Wellendorf (Loretta) of Des Moines; Mary Halstrum(Kevin), of Winterset; two granddaughters, Katharine Halstrum and Rachel Halstrum, of Winterset; one grandson, Joseph D. Wellendorf, of Des Moines; and one great-grandson, Joseph D. Wellendorf (Jr.), of Des Moines. She was preceded in death by her mother, her father, her stepfather, John Adleman, and her son, Michael.
A Memorial Mass is scheduled for Thursday, September 6, at 7 p.m. at St. Mary of Nazareth Catholic Church at 4600 Meredith Dr., Des Moines. Memorials may be made in Judy’s name to the American Cancer Society.
Online condolences will not publish to our website but will generate an email that is directed to the family.